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The Christians Who Rejected the Old Testament

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The Christians Who Rejected the Old Testament

Post Neon Knight on Fri 2 Feb - 19:08

Ancient Rome

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcionism [abridged]:

Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144. Marcion believed Jesus was the savior sent by God, and Paul the Apostle was his chief apostle, but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel. Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament.

Marcion's canon rejected the entire Old Testament, along with all other epistles and gospels of the 27 book New Testament canon because they transmitted "Jewish" ideas. Paul's epistles enjoy a prominent position in the Marcionite canon, since Paul is credited with correctly transmitting the gracious universality of Jesus' message in opposition to the harsh dictates of the "just god".

The premise of Marcionism is that many of the teachings of Christ are incompatible with the actions of the God of the Old Testament. Focusing on the Pauline traditions of the Gospel, Marcion felt that all other conceptions of the Gospel, and especially any association with the Old Testament religion, was opposed to, and a backsliding from, the truth. He further regarded the arguments of Paul regarding law and gospel, wrath and grace, works and faith, flesh and spirit, sin and righteousness, death and life, as the essence of religious truth.

Marcionites held that the God of the Hebrew Bible (known to some Gnostics as Yaltabaoth) was inconsistent, jealous, wrathful and genocidal, and that the material world he created was defective, a place of suffering; the God who made such a world is a bungling or malicious demiurge.  Christ was not a Jewish Messiah, but a spiritual entity that was sent by the Monad to reveal the truth about existence, thus allowing humanity to escape the earthly trap of the demiurge. Marcion called God, the Stranger God, or the Alien God, in some translations, as this deity had not had any previous interactions with the world, and was wholly unknown.

Marcionism was denounced by its opponents as heresy, and written against, notably by Tertullian, in a five-book treatise Adversus Marcionem, written about 208.

Historic Marcionism, and the church Marcion himself established, appeared to die out around the 5th century, although similarities between Marcionism and Paulicianism, a later heresy in the same geographical area, indicate that Marcionist ideas may have survived and even contributed to heresies derived from Paulicians in Bulgaria (Bogomilism) and France (Catharism). Whether or not that is the case, Marcion's influence and criticism of the Old Testament are discussed to this very day.

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Re: The Christians Who Rejected the Old Testament

Post Neon Knight on Fri 2 Feb - 19:29

Nazi Germany

http://www.worldhistory.biz/sundries/42643-deutsche-christen.html [abridged & rearranged]:

The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a group of clergy and laypeople in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s who sought to synthesize National Socialism and Christianity. They aimed to purge Christianity of everything they deemed Jewish and to create a German church based on “blood.” Most of the approximately 600,000 members were Protestant, although a few Catholics were involved. By mid-1933, Deutsche Christen had acquired key posts in the Protestant establishment—in national church governing bodies and university faculties of theology, as regional bishops, and on local church councils. Many kept those positions until 1945 and beyond.

They aimed to create a “people’s church” that would provide a spiritual homeland for the “Aryans” of the Third Reich. Accordingly, they attacked every aspect of Christianity that was related to Judaism. They rejected the Old Testament, revised the New Testament, expunged words such as Hallelujah and Hosanna from hymns, and denied that Jesus was a Jew. Because they considered Jewishness racial, they refused to accept conversions from Judaism to Christianity as valid and insisted that only a hard, “manly” church devoid of qualities such as compassion could fight racial impurity.



Instead of breaking with the established Protestant churches, the Deutsche Christen tried to take over from within. Their main rival was the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche), another movement within official Protestantism. The Deutsche Christen also had opposition outside the church from neopagans who considered even Nazified Christianity “too Jewish.” Although clergy normally spoke for the movement, the Deutsche Christen represented a cross section of German society.

War fulfilled many of the aims of the Deutsche Christen. They wanted an aggressive Christianity; now they had the nation at arms. They demanded exclusion of “non-Aryans” and Jewish influences from German religious life; that goal was realized by default, through the isolation, expulsion, and murder of people defined as Jews. But the war also brought setbacks. Even Deutsche Christen experienced hostility from some Nazi authorities who resented Christianity in any form.





When Hitler’s regime collapsed in 1945, the movement lost its credibility. To justify their involvement to Allied occupation authorities, deNazification boards, and even themselves, many former members claimed they had only wanted religious renewal. They rarely mentioned the antisemitism that had pervaded their program. Some pastors were ousted, but within a few years, almost all were back in the pulpit. Lay members easily re-entered the Protestant mainstream.



German Christian Confirmation 1940 in Esslingen

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Between the velvet lies, there's a truth that's hard as steel
The vision never dies, life's a never ending wheel
- R.J.Dio
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